https://www.wvumc.org/ The website of the West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church offers resources for innovative congregations, young disciples, church leadership, spiritual growth, and ministry support.
You’ll find contact information for our Annual Conference staff. They can help local churches understand apportionments, reach new people, start or enhance a youth ministry, develop a communication strategy, set goals and plan, help folks enter ministry, and a boat load of other great things. Need new ideas? Need some leadership or expertise from outside your congregation? Contact someone from the Conference staff.
Check out the website for The United Methodist Church (http://www.umc.org/), United Methodist Communications (http://www.umcom.org/), and Discipleship Ministries (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/) for boat loads of resources.
RESOURCES FOR PRAYER
http://www.prayforrenewal.org/ Find resources for personal, church, and community prayer initiatives from the ministry of United Methodist evangelist, Rev. Terry Teykl.
https://www.upperroom.org/ Resources to aid the prayer and devotional life; including individual and group studies and resources.
https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/how-can-i-pray Learn to pray the “Examen” prayer; a daily prayer that can:
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important.
5. Look toward tomorrow. Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges
https://orderofstluke.org/en/ A spiritual community and resource for healing prayer with a local chapter in the Potomac Highlands District.
Organize a PRAYER WALK for your community or town (https://www.24-7prayer.com/prayerwalking). Pray over specific homes or areas. Consider using door hangers to invite those whom you are praying for to church, an event, or to share prayer concerns (https://outreach.com/Church-DoorHangers).
RESOURCES TO CREATE A CULTURE OF INVITATION AND HOSPITALITY
Know Your Neighbor: Would you like detailed demographic information about the area around your church? Contact the district office (email@example.com) and we’ll send you a demographic report from MissionInsite – http://missioninsite.com/
Do a Hospitality Assessment of Your Church: Most churches believe they are friendly, but are they hospitable? https://www.freechurchforms.com/support-files/churchhospitalityassessment.pdf or http://emc3coaching.com/hospitality-resources/
https://growchurch.net/how-to-organise-an-invite-a-friend-to-church-sunday How to organize an “Invite a Friend Sunday for your church.
CATCH: A Churchwide Program for Invitational Evangelism, by Debi Nixon with Adam Hamilton. Borrow this resource from the District library. Includes a program guide with DVD, small group participant book, small group DVD with leader’s guide, and implementation guide.
Dinner/Simple Church (http://freshexpressionsus.org/product/welcome-dinner-church/): Church was not always done the way we do it. There was a time when Christians gathered around tables, included the strangers and the poor, ate together, and talked about Jesus. This form of church occurred mostly during the first three hundred years of Christianity, and was highly effective in bringing lost people to Jesus. While the church of today is very meaningful to Christ-followers, it is failing to help our lost neighbors find their way to the Savior. That is no small concern for Jesus’ churches, all of which are called to be in the rescue business.
The little book, available through the link above, examines what it might be like for a traditional church to plant a dinner church in a nearby neighborhood. Revelation 3:20 makes it clear that Jesus still wants to have dinner with sinners. That likely means he wants his church to set the table.
RESOURCES TO HELP LEAD PERSONS TO FAITH IN CHRIST
Youth Confirmation Resources:
“After the Altar Call”, a resource created especially for youth in the West Virginia Annual Conference, found here – https://www.wvumc.org/youth-resources/#.
Check out “Collaborate Methodist Curriculum” https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/teens/colaborate/methodist/ Borrow the kit from the district office.
Adult Confirmation/Membership Resources:
“ADULT MEMBERSHIP CLASS: Membership in the United Methodist Church” By Chip Bennett.
A study of the foundational beliefs of Christianity, launching a lifetime journey of discipleship – https://www.wvumc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Adult-membership-class-by-Chip-Bennett.pdf
REVIVALS, RENEWAL SERVICES, SPECIAL SERVICES: Rev. Stephon Reed, Conference Approved Evangelist helps churches, charges, and cooperative parishes to reach people for Christ through evangelistic and revival services. Find out more information here: https://www.wvumc.org/innovative-congregations/evangelism/
“Sharing a Vital Faith” – a local church study series to help folks share their faith in Christ. Follow this link and you’ll see information at the bottom of the page: https://www.wvumc.org/innovative-congregations/disciple-making-pathways/
RESOURCES TO HELP GROW DISCIPLES AND DISCIPLESHIP GROUPS
Disciple Bible Study has tranformed the lives of thousands of people over the last 30 years. Dig deeply into the WORD through Disciple – https://www.cokesbury.com/disciple
http://www.seeallthepeople.org/ “SEE ALL THE PEOPLE” helps churches to make disciples of Jesus by creating a disciple making process that moves folks, step by step, from exploring faith in Christ to maturing faith in Christ.
Check out the small group books and resources in the Cokesbury bookstore: https://www.cokesbury.com/forms/search.aspx?filterGroup=1&txtSearchQuery=discipleship+studies&pagesize=20&sort=RELEVANCE
https://www.seedbed.com/ Seedbed offers resources for individuals and congregations (Bible study, devotions, small groups, etc., from a Wesleyan/Methodist perspective. Sowing seeds for a Great Awakening!
https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/covenant-discipleship Small groups of folks seeking the renewing grace of God was the fuel to the fire in the early Methodist movement. Discover a contemporary model that can transform people into deeply passionate and growing disciples of Jesus.
https://store.seedbed.com/products/wesleyan-band-meetings Get an introduction to a Wesleyan Band Meeting.
http://www.beadisciple.com/ At “Be a Disciple” you find official lay servant and lay speaking classes, as well as other inspiring and informative online classes.
Spiritual Gift Discovery: The Spiritual Gifts Assessment helps individuals identify their God-given gifts for living faithfully as Christian disciples day by day and find meaningful ways to use their gifts in connection with others through the community of faith. The process helps people understand the nature of spiritual gifts and ways to enhance the effectiveness of their gifts by linking together with others. http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritual-gifts-online-assessment
Not only do individuals need to grow in discipleship, congregations need to grow in discipleship. What would it look like if your Church Council members were united in love for Christ, one another, and growing together as disciples? What if you had an intentional plan for the discipleship growth of new church members? Check out these free resources from Phil Maynard that can help with the growth of congregational discipleship(http://emc3coaching.com/discipleship-resources/): includes “The Grace Pattern”, “Membership Covenant”, and “What People Need”.
RESOURCES FOR MISSION INVOLVEMENT
http://www.celebraterecovery.com/ Celebrate Recovery is a steps class that helps folks deal with hurts, habits, and hangups and find abundant life. Interested in forming a Celebrate Recovery? Contact the District office and we’ll hook you up with some experienced CR people.
https://www.awana.org/ Several Potomac Highlands District churches are using AWANA to reach kids and their families. Want some expert advise? Contact the District office.
http://www.bumfs.org/ Burlington United Methodist Family Services is vital to this region with an immeasurable impact. Invite a speaker from Burlington to share with your church or group. Learn what you and BUMFS are doing together and other ways you can make an impact with BUMFS.
http://www.livinghopehighschool.org/ Many congregations in the Potomac Highlands District have partnered with Living Hope High School in Bungoma, Kenya to transform the lives of students. And, in that partnership, people and churches have found themselves being transformed. Learn more. Invite a Living Hope partner/missionary to come and share with you.
http://umvim.org/ Interested in a short-term mission trip or disaster relief trip? Check out the Volunteers in Mission website.
https://www.facebook.com/NewVisionDepot/ The West Virginia Annual Conference NEW VISION DEPOT collects and distributes supplies and coordinates mission teams. Check them out.
http://missioncentral.org/ Mission Central warehouse collects and distributes items for mission for the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
http://www.kairosprisonministry.org/ Interested in prison ministry? Several folks from the Potomac Highlands District are making an eternal difference in the lives of the incarcerated. Contact the District office for more information.
RESOURCES TO ENCOURAGE GENEROSITY AND STEWARDSHIP
God is generous! Disciples of Jesus are generous and are stewards of God’s generous gifts. Check out these resources to encourage growth in generosity and stewardship.
4 PAGE REPORT CONFERENCE TREASURER – If you’d like to know where every penny of your churches apportionment goes to call the Conference treasurer’s office at 800-788-3746, ext. 35 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org – ask for the 4 page report for your church.
RESOURCES FOR CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION
Simply put, churches and charges in conflict undermine their ability to reach people for Christ and grow the Church in people and discipleship. Below are resources than can help transform the conflict into healthier relationships.
https://www.lmpeacecenter.org/ The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center provides programs and resources to help church leaders resolve conflicts and build healthier relationships in communities of faith.
CHURCH LEADERSHIP RESOURCES
https://thecrg.org/ The Congregational Resource Guide is an online tool designed to help leaders of all congregations find the right resources to address their challenges and opportunities. The CRG is a program of the Center for Congregations and is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.
http://www.sharechurch.com/Home.aspx ShareChurch is a free resource library assembled by the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. They offer quality, practical tools and training to help local congregations and leaders be more vital and effective.
http://leadership.divinity.duke.edu/ Leadership Education at Duke Divinity connects church leaders to resources and educational services designed to help leaders cultivate thriving communities that are signs, foretastes, and instruments of the reign of God.
http://www.ministrymatters.com/ Ministry Matters is a community of resources for church leaders. Whether your church has ten pews or a thousand seats, a praise band or a pipe organ, one-room-Sunday school or a network of small groups, a huge staff or just you… Please click the image to the left to browse and read up on Ministry Matters!
https://www.churchleadership.com/ The Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary serves as a resource for clergy and lay leaders, congregations, and denominational leaders. Through teaching, research, publications, and resources, the Lewis Center supports visionary spiritual leaders and addresses those key leadership issues so crucial to the church’s faithful witness.
https://alban.org/category/leadership/ Alban at Duke Divinity School helps leaders connect and learn from one another by sharing practical wisdom, stories of thriving congregations and transformational models of ministry. Alban offers ready access to books, online publications, and learning opportunities.
https://www.barna.com/ Barna Group offers research, resources and training to serve church leaders. Barna specializes in interpreting polling data on religion to help leaders better understand their communities and the religious mindset of younger generations.
https://www.umccybercampus.com/ The UMC Cyber Campus provides continuing education resources and guidelines for the professional development of Christian leaders. Learning videos offered in the UMC Cyber Campus are free training sessions and lectures that can nurture grassroots leadership from a distance and empower local leaders.
http://li.cor.org/ Leadership Institute at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas brings together clergy, church staff and volunteers who share a passion for renewing churches. During the two-day workshop, participants can choose sessions from a wide selection of topics related to church leadership.
https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/school-of-congregational-development The School of Congregational Development equips conference leaders, clergy, and laity to lead vital, dynamic, life-changing congregations. In addition to worship, the four-day conference in Indianapolis consists of plenary sessions and seminars that explore numerous topics related to local church leadership.
http://asburyseminary.edu/resources/beesoncenter/lifelonglearning/ The Beeson International Center at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky sees learning as a lifelong process. Through webcasts, seminars, conferences and retreats, church leaders have the opportunity to grow as a faithful stewards of grace.
http://united.edu/continuing-education/ United Theological Seminary in Ohio offers several different continuing education programs relevant to church leaders–both clergy and lay.
https://chuckknowschurch.com/ Chuck Knows Church is two online video series that help interpret complex subjects and issues in a fun, yet informative, way. Each series features “Chuck” who helps us learn more about our church while inviting us to have deeper conversation with our pastor. Both series are produced by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church.
http://robertschnase.com/books/five-practices-of-fruitful-congregations/ Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations describes practices that shape and sustain congregations. Vibrant, growing, fruitful congregations repeat and deepen certain fundamental activities, seeking to perform them with excellence.
Are the ministries that your congregation is doing having real impact? Here is a way to help you evaluate if what you are doing is actually accomplishing the ministry you are called to – http://thev3movement.org/2017/10/methodology-discerning-impact-significant-change/